DRP News Bulletin 13 November 2017 (EAC Defers To Clear Pancheshwar Dam But Ignores People’s Voices)

The minutes of expert appraisal committee (EAC) shows that Environmental Clearance  (EC) for the Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project has been deferred. The minutes were uploaded after 16 days of EAC meeting conducted on Oct 24, 2017. http://environmentclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/Form-1A/Minutes/09112017PCU6UH80Finalminutesof9thEACmeeting1.pdf

In the minutes, the EAC said that it would require to study the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for the Nepal portion of the project to get a holistic view. It also directed the project proponent to obtain wildlife clearance as the project was located 300 metres from the Ascot Wildlife Sanctuary. 

It is worth to mention that the Pancheshwar dam with a height of 315 meters is world’s second tallest dam proposed in ecologically sensitive region. Scores of media reports have underlined the unfair and politically influenced Environment Public Hearing (EPH) process, conducted during peak monsoon month in landslide ridden and disaster prone region. The venue of the EPH was also several kms away from villages going to be affected thus depriving the local people participation in essential decision making process. As a result the concerns and voices of villagers to have their voices heard. The EIA report of the project has also not mentioned several grave environmental issues of GOLFs events, cloud bursts, earthquakes etc in the catchment of the dam let alone the question of impact on endangered wildlife like Mahseer fish. 

It is unfortunate that the minutes do not acknowledge any of the submissions made to the EAC and generally refers to public representation as a number of people had sent letters, including SANDRP. http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-green-ministry-panel-defers-nod-for-indo-nepal-hydel-project-2559599

Meanwhile, local people to be affected by the Pancheshwar dam and Rupaligad dam projects have alleged that they have been kept in the dark on the dam issue. They along with activists have also alleged that the procurement of environment and forest clearance is being subtly processed which directly construes that the govt is creating ways and means of the fulfillment for the contractors. http://www.dailypioneer.com/state-editions/dehradun/locals-claim-they-are-being-kept-in-dark.html

Similarly a field visit report by Himalayan Sewa Sangh mentions that local people has not been consulted in the decision making process by both Indian and Nepal govts.   http://hindi.indiawaterportal.org/pancheshvar_baandh

Opposing Pancheshwar project, a retired IAS officer has also stated that Big Dams are the Forts of Corruption http://himalayauk.org/dr-kamal-tawari-ias-retire/

HYDRO POWER

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1000 MW dam was by JP and then sold to Jindal South West last year – 2016 seen on the Sutjlej on the way from Shimla to Kalpa in Kinnaur.
(Photo: Aishwarya S Iyer/The Quint)

Himachal Pradesh Political parties ingnore ecological damages by hydro projects Local groups say that construction of back to back hydro projects in Satluj basin is causing drying up of several natural springs in Kinnaur district. They allege that administration is looking over the environmental damage and politicians across the board are ignoring the ramifications of dam construction in the run-up to elections. There are 4 dams Nathpa Jhakri dam, Karcham Wangtoo dam and BASPA dam already in operation and 4 more Tidong dam, Shongtong Karcham dam, Kashang dam and another 450 MW dam in Rekong Peo are under construction in Satluj basin. https://www.thequint.com/news/politics/himachal-pradesh-elections-dams-sutlej-environmental-effect

Industry NHPC 2nd quarter net profit down 34.5 % at Rs 1,019 cr NHPC’s net profit last quarter (July Sept) and first half of this year (Apr Sept) sees huge drop. This is not only because of reduction in power generation, but also due to reduced income per unit of power. as prices of power are down, it seems. https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/power/nhpc-second-quarter-net-profit-down-34-5-per-cent-at-rs-1019-crore/61580393

Jammu & Kashmir 1.5 MW SHP commissioned in Biaras Drass, Kargil The Biaras Small Hydro Power Project (SHP) of 1.5 MW capacity, in Biaras Drass, Kargil (which is one of the coldest places in India) has been commissioned by PM Modi on Nov 04, 2017. The total cost of the project, fully funded by the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, is Rs. 17 crores and this is the first project to be commissioned under the PM’s Ladakh Renewable Energy Initiative (LREI). Power from Biaras SHP would be sufficient to meet normal power requirement of about 1000 families, which would make them comfortable in the extreme winter season. The project has been developed by Kargil Renewable Energy Development Agency (KREDA) under Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council. http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=173373

DAMS

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Polavaram Dam Row Conflict emerges between Andhra Govt and Centre There is clash in the making on the Polavaram dam issue between Centre and Andhra Pradesh Govt as State Govt is intent on starting work on the cofferdams of the Polavaram Project despite the directive by the Union Water Resources Department not to go ahead with it till alternatives are found to cut the cost.

As per the report Union Ministry has written a letter to the National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC) to explore alternatives. A copy of the same was sent to the State Department of Water Resources. The NHPC experts are scheduled to visit the dam site on November 10-11 and take a call on the cofferdam designs. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/work-on-cofferdams-to-begin-immediately/article20006488.ece

The state govt wants to construct the upper cofferdam at 42 meters high. But the union govt felt it unnecessary and issued Stop Work orders. The cost of the cofferdam according to a preliminary estimate was ₹350 crore.  https://www.mirchi9.com/politics/center-issues-stop-work-order-polavaram-project/  

Telangana High Court sets aside NGT stay on Kaleswaram Seems like a WRONG decision of the High Court. It’s a multipurpose project and NOT a drinking water. They are using the fig leaf of drinking water project and that too should have been looked on merits. Unfortunately, HC sits on judgement over NGT order, when NGT is supposed to be taking decision on merits and HC only on legal grounds. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/high-court-sets-aside-ngt-stay-on-kaleswaram/articleshow/61572139.cms

The Rs 80,500 crore Kaleshwaram project, jointly implemented by Maharashtra and Telangana, aims to divert water from the Godavari river basin to Telangana.  NGT has stayed the project on Oct 05, 2017 observing that the project lacks environmental clearances. The state has challenged the order in the high court. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/ngt-imposes-interim-stay-on-telanganas-kaleshwaram-project/article19802742.ece

On Oct 30, the Central Water Commission (CWC) issued the hydrology clearance for the project. A week before that, on Oct 24, it also received the stage one forest clearance from MoEF. The Kaleshwaram project was originally called Pranahita-Chevella project. In 2014 when the new state was formed, it was redesigned, extended and rechristened. http://www.livemint.com/Politics/SIi6YDtCZFnyG0Ko9cSVjN/Telanganas-major-irrigation-project-becomes-contentious.html

Karnataka Corruption delays Yergol dam work for 11 years Yergol dam the centrally sponsored mega water project on Markandeya river at Yergol area of Bangarpet taluk, proposed to solve the acute water crisis in the parched Kolar district, could not be completed due to corruption in laying of pipeline work which was assigned to an Andhra agency. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/eleven-years-on-yergol-dam-project-yet-to-see-light-of-day/article19994277.ece

As per another report, even before starting of project work, pipes were purchased and laid out hurriedly on a stretch during Varthur Prakash’s tenure as chairman of the Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board. In 2013 taking cognizance of the matter, Madara High Court had sent notices to all concerned parties.   http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-karnataka/yergol-water-project-comes-to-the-fore-again/article2710508.ece

The foundation stone of dam was laid on July 28, 2006. It envisaged storage of 500 million cubic feet of water by building a 33-m-high composite dam. Initially, the total project cost was estimated at ₹188 crore, escalated further to 240 crore but the installation of the pipeline alone cost ₹80 crore. https://www.oneindia.com/2006/07/19/water-project-on-the-pipeline-to-solve-kolars-water-crisis-1153383944.html

Study Himayatsagar dam may run dry by 2036? Unchecked encroachments in catchment and rampant pollution may turn Himayat sagar dam purposeless by 2036 claims a latest study report. The dam was built in 1927 cross the river Esi, a tributary of the Musi. Its twin Osmansagar Lake, was constructed in 1920, across the Musi. As per the study, even if the lake managed to survive beyond 2036, it would turn into another Hussainsagar, which is infested by deadly bacteria that have become resistant to powerful antibiotics. As per the report Hussainsagar has turned highly polluted and the Ibrahimpatnam Lake has dried up.  https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/himayatsagar-may-be-left-high-and-dry-by-2036/articleshow/61541422.cms

Dhuliabhai, who is in his 90s, says that they were promised land as early as 1982, but that never materialised.png

Dhuliabhai, who is in his 90s, says that they were promised land as early as 1982, but that never materialised

Gujarat Machannala Dam affected fighting for justice for last 35 years SAD story of how the 600 tribal families that were displaced by a dam in Gujarat in late 1970s- early 1980s on Machan river near Jhalod in Dahod district and how they still fight for basic compensation. http://twocircles.net/2017nov09/418213.html

Meanwhile, in the run up to the State Election, there are serious allegations being levelled by none other than ex-PM Man Mohan Singh on Narendra Modi. The exchange of allegations only shows the pro-dam stand of both parties and their ignorance to the plight affected people. http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/modi-never-met-me-over-sardar-sarovar-dam-issue-says-manmohan/1/1084507.html, https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/manmohan-singh-tried-to-choke-narmada-dam-funding-says-gujarat-cm/articleshow/61569508.cms

RIVERS AS NATIONAL WATER WAYS

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Expert Speak Impacts of national waterways on rivers, ecology and livelihoods In the comprehensive Shripad Dharmadhikary writes that the govt has made a strong push for inland waterways but confusion over environmental assessments and clearance processes cloud development. https://www.thethirdpole.net/2017/11/09/indias-national-waterways-impacts-on-rivers-ecology-and-livelihoods-must-be-addressed/

Goa Video showing dverse impact of nationalization of six Go rivers Abhijit Prabhudesai in a fantastic, short video explains the threats of nationalisation of 182 km of six Goa rivers for navigation. Please listen, share and send feedback.  https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100013217474686&fref=mentions

IRRIGATION

Center Gadkari announces Rs 6,000 cr, water project Some rather brave claims here: Increase in irrigated area in Maharashtra to 40% by 2019. Completion of Gosikhurd by 2019. Start of work on Damanganga Pinjal in three months, it will change the face of Marathwada and Godvari basin. 6000 cr loan application to World Bank to “to improve the irrigation facilities and water accessibility capacity” Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. http://www.firstpost.com/india/nitin-gadkari-announces-rs-6000-crore-world-bank-backed-project-to-improve-irrigation-water-accessibility-4204391.html

Maharashtra BIG WATER CRISIS unfolding in Vidarbha with scores of MAJOR and MEDIUM SIZE DAMS HAVING JUST 30% of their storage capacity

In 6 out of 18 major dams have water level at 30% or less water of their capacity in Nagpur division. Officials feel that water cannot be spared for irrigation in such reservoirs as drinking needs will be the first priority.

-In Amravati division the situation is worse. The level has dipped below 30% in 5 out of the 9 major irrigation projects. There are standing instructions that if the level touches 30%, water is not released for irrigation.

-In the mid-sized projects the level is below 30% in 9 out of the 23 dams in Nagpur division. In Amravati division it is 5 out of 23 dams of mid size. The two divisions cover eastern and western parts of the region respectively.

-With rains over, there will be no replenishment in coming days. At least 5mm water evaporates each day which increases during summer. There are fears that by summer, dams having 30% water may only be left with 15% or 20%.

-Officials in VIDC admit that the SITUATION is GRIM and going would be tough with 8 months to go before monsoon. They feel more than irrigation availability of drinking water would be a major concern in coming days.

-The Totladoh dam (32% water storage) on Pench river, catering drinking water needs of Nagpur district,has already announced no water availability for Rabi crop in the area under the dam. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/no-water-for-crops-in-11-major-dams-of-region/articleshow/61584371.cms

MoWR PIB release for Nov 10, also mentions that the water level of 91 major reservoirs of the country has gone down by one per cent. http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=160648

Centre NITI Aayog proposal for privatisation of micro irrigation scheme, seems like beginning of a big scam Claiming lack of funds and slow outreach, for the first time NITI Aayog has sought public comments on the “Draft Model Public Private Partnership Policy Guidelines in Integrated Micro-Irrigation in India”, proposing privatization of Micro Irrigation (MI) scheme.

Some fact on (MI):- Out of India’s 65 million hectares (ha) under irrigation coverage, only 8.6 million ha is under micro irrigation. Govt has target to achieve 0.5 million ha per annum coverage with a budget of just Rs 1,000 crore. As per  NITI Aayog with this budget and slow speed, it will take at least another 100 years to reach the overall MI potential in India. http://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/niti-aayog-wants-to-hand-over-micro-irrigation-to-private-players-58967

Gujarat Truth behind tall claims of irrigation facilities exposed The report mentions the review of earlier CAG reports showing that the water resources department of Gujarat govt. has been criticized by CAG for many years. It was pinned down for excessive and “unfruitful” expenditure in 2011-12, for “irregularities in tender process” and favouring certain contractors in 2012-13, and for wasteful expenditure in 2013-14. These reports lay out in painstaking detail how the Gujarat state govt bungled provision of water for irrigation – one of the most crucial needs of farmers. Although Gujarat was getting a huge amount of water from the Sardar Sarovar Dam on Narmada still farmers on whose name the destructive project was pushed has not benefitted from it.  https://newsclick.in/tribal-farmers-wait-water-irrigation-projects-bungled

Reinforcing the facts, another report shows a glimpse of struggle of Gujarat’s tribals displaced by Sardar Sarovar Project, Gujarat politician’s lifeline. http://twocircles.net/2017nov10/418268.html

RIVERS

Expert Speak Indian rivers need interdisciplinary studies for e-flow assessment I am glad K D Joshi sir has written this article. I hope it helps generate necessary debate, norms and work for improving the state of fisheries in decision making process that affects them.

The article makes very interesting reading, since the author was till recently also member of MoEF, Expert Appraisal Committee on River Valley Projects. He was till recently also senior scientist at CIFRI, Govt of India’s premier institute supposed to be protecting the riverine fisheries, but lately seems more involved in consultancy studies for hydropower companies. CIFRI, unfortunately is not known for having done any effective attempt to protect riverine fisheries, which is its basic mandate. This committee also appraises environment flows and approves projects without ANY credible studies on environment flows.

– The article also makes some unfounded claims like this one: “India is currently facing large shortages in base and peak electricity.” It is well known, as India’s Power Minister also announced, including in Parliament that India is power surplus. Studies show that this situation is going to prevail for decades to come. The peak power shortage has also come down hugely in recent months, as also reflected in the price of peak hour electricity costs at the energy exchanges.

– VERY strangely, the author uses 2014 installed capacity figures for an article published in NOV 2017. The figures and situation has HUGELY changed in these three years.

– He further says: “comprehensive and interactive attempts are still lacking in the Indian rivers because of the dearth of a sufficient eco-biological database.” Unfortunately, its CIFRI and EAC that is majorly responsible for this state of affairs.

– He also adds: “However, in the Indian scenario (even elsewhere too), most of the stakeholders are not aware of sound scientific water requirements of their respective activities.” That is such a self serving statement. Even if this is true in some sense in some cases, who is responsible for this state of affairs and what is CIFRI and their representative in EAC is doing, besides rubber stamping questionable decisions for project after project?

– As per the author: “Till date, there is no scientific documentation of in situ water requirements of any of the fish species in relation to their spawning, nursery caring, feeding, migration (if any) and other life stages in any of the river systems.” Why is this the situation? What is CIFRI doing about it? Why is the science of estimating these factors even for the key stone fish species you mention is so poor? You mention need for multidisciplinary work. Yes, that is required, but what about taking the first step in coming up with basic criteria for each of the key stone species by CIFRI? Why is that also not done? Why is the CIFRI representative in EAC not demanding such studies, in stead of rubber stamping the EAC decisions?

I wish there were some satisfactory responses to these questions. Today there is no place for fish or those that depend on fish or the river in the decision making process and institutes like CIFRI and their scientists are more busy doing consultancies for hydropower companies. This needs to change and Dr Joshi is in an eminent position to initiate this. http://www.currentscience.ac.in/Volumes/113/09/1652.pdf

Maharashtra The jewels of Pardi Kupi Pearl farming in rivers: This impressive video report shows how a farmer in Gadcharoli is doing peral farming in Wainganga river . This could be another possible source of livelihood that is at risk when rivers are destroyed and when unsustainable sand mining happens as Sanjay explains here. http://www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/jewels-pardi-kupi

Tamil Nadu TANGECO demolishes encroachment on Kosasthalaiyar River After 8 months of campaigning by fishers from Kaattukuppam, Mugatwarakuppam, Ennore Kuppam and Sivanpadai Kuppam , MoEF orders to remove encroachment by Tamil Nadu Generation And Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGECO) across the Kosasthalaiyar River. http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/tangedco-begins-demolishing-road-across-kosasthalaiyar/article19988939.ece

Goa Rivers Remembering Kurdi It’s an amazing unimaginably sad yet unbelievably sensitive journey into the past of people displaced by the Salaulim dam built on Zuari river basin submerged 32 years ago. It is celebration of life at office of the death as some character call it. Please watch and share.  http://filmsdivision.org/filmscategory/environment    

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HIMDHARA Common Effluent “ill-treatment” in World’s third largest pharma hub  After a decade of witnessing toxic effluents choking the Sirsa, the residents on the banks of this river in Baddi (industrial area) expected that the ‘common effluent treatment plant’ would end their woes. Its been two years since the plant became operational, and relief from toxicity is nowhere in sight. Supreme Court and High Court orders have come and gone, but the waters of Sirsa remain murky.Here is a detailed report: Please do spread the word. We hope that this gets the media attention it deserves. http://www.himdhara.org/2017/11/12/common-effluent-ill-treatment-in-worlds-third-largest-pharma-hub/

Kerala Govt launches project to save 3 rivers from pollutio n The report has some glimpse of what is going on between State Govt and Centre on the issue of river protection. As per Mathew T Thomas State Water Minister, he prepare comprehensive pollution abatement projects for the rivers Bharathapuzha, Periyar, and Pampa under the Haritha Keralam Mission. He also revealed that state sought financial assistance from Centre but despite a visit of CWC nothing has happened not even the visit report is published. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/project-to-save-three-rivers-from-pollution/article20063263.ece

Hyderabad Musi-Esi pollution affecting cultural connection Several rituals, customs and traditions long associated with the Musi and Esi river has got affected due to increasing pollution of twin rivers. Dupki Punnam or holy dip was once a grand annual event in the river Musi particularly at the confluence of the Esi and the Musi on the occasion of Kartika Purnima, the first full moon after Diwali. The event is essentially linked to the Indian culture of holding water bodies in high reverence. With the Musi losing its pristine waters to contaminants of all sorts, Dupki Punnam has also become a thing of the past. Govt has started a Rs 1500 crore ambitious plan to cleanse the Musi but there is no impact of the project. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/too-dirty-for-dip-musis-toxic-water-drowns-tradition-of-dupki-punnam/articleshow/61556961.cms

GANGA Namami Gange MoU for STPs construction with Germany by Dec end Uttarakhand and Germany are likely to sign an MoU by Dec end for technical expertise and loan assistance of Rs 1,150 crore for setting up a network of sewerage lines in 5 cities Haridwar, Rishikesh, Dehradun, Mussoorie, Tapovan along Ganga. German experts had been providing technical expertise for cleaning the Ganga since the first phase of the Namami Gange project unrolled in Uttarakhand in 2015. http://www.hindustantimes.com/dehradun/uttarakhand-to-ink-mou-with-germany-for-ganga-clean-up/story-NCkEMNzOgnU8IpfsokkqlJ.html Meanwhile the Jal Samadhi rituals around Haridwar in which saints prefer to immerse bodies of dead seers has come under sharp focus for causing river pollution. http://www.hindustantimes.com/dehradun/jal-samadhi-ritual-sinks-clean-ganga-drive-in-haridwar-s-neel-dhara/story-MtqB4mWq7an7xZZe2vLCuI.html As per a latest report, Ganga Sabha has also taken exception to immersion of ashes of dead persons on banks other than the sanctum sanctorum of Brahma Kund at Har-Ki-Pauri and Sati Ghat in Kankhal. http://www.hindustantimes.com/dehradun/immersion-of-ashes-at-ganga-ghats-in-haridwar-sparks-row/story-eGQkqg4CioEIlL9XYARdqL.html

Similarly, an ongoing sample survey reveals that the quality of Ganga water between 23-kilometre stretch of from the Ganga Barrage to Sidhnath Ghat in Jajmau, Kanpur has deteriorated further making it unfit for drinking and cooking. The survey is being conducted by a team of scientists engaged for a two-year research on river pollution as part of the Namami Gange project. http://www.hindustantimes.com/lucknow/survey-shows-dip-in-quality-of-ganga-water-in-kanpur/story-Ok3IlV79yZrH7CxrcxZQdL.html

Also see, introduction to new book, River of Life, River of Death: The Ganges and India’s Future, in which author Victor Mallet writes a fascinating account of a trip down historic river. http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/linking-superbugs-to-the-ganges/article19988362.ece

Bihar GIS to study viability of a barrage construction on Falgu river Strange despite consultancy firm finding the project NOT USEFUL, politicians continue to push Rs 750 crore barrage construction on Falgu river near Bitho village. GANGA FALGU LINK has also remained non-stater. To study feasibility of supplying water to Gaya from Jamune river has NOT FOUND MANY TAKERS.  The barrage is reportedly getting fesh push from CM Nitish Kumar’s somewhat ambitious plan to provide tap eater to each household in the state, as part of the ‘Saat Nishchay’, program. As per Pune-based consultancy firm the barrage may not hold Falgu water for long on account of the peculiar nature of the river and its sub-surface flow. Experts are learnt to have opined that the water may seep through to other side of the barrage. The highly porous sub-surface reduces the water retention capacity of the river. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/barrage-construction-on-falgu-gsi-to-study-viability/articleshow/61618844.cms

YAMUNA Delhi NGT raps govt, DJB for delay in response on Yamuna plan NGT on Nov 06 has rapped the AAP govt and the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) for not filing their replies to the show-cause notices on why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against them for delaying compliance of orders on the Yamuna cleaning project. The Court granted them final opportunity to file their responses and warned them that in the event of default, it would be compelled to pass coercive orders.

As per DJB CEO Keshav Chandra of the total fund of ₹1,755 crore allocated to the Board, ₹939 crore was for water and ₹816 crore for sewage. Of this, ₹351 crore has already been spent on the sewage head on maintenance and the projects allowed by the committee constituted by the Tribunal.  http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/ngt-raps-govt-djb-for-delay-in-response-on-yamuna-plan/article19994625.ece

Haryana Waterman suggests diversion of Yamuna flood to Sahibi basin  Rajendra Singh, ‘Waterman of India’ has reportedly in a meeting with CM, Haryana, has suggested him to divert Yamuna water to Loharu and Sahabi water channels in southern Haryana to help recharge the water table during floods. Flooding is basic characteristic of rivers. Flood events revive the river system and recharge groundwater. Yamuna river has already turned seasonal and annual flood events rejuvenates the river apart from recharging the over stressed groundwater table along with its length. In such situation, diversion of flood water will worsen the river system. Instead of this, the state govt should work on reviving Sahibi basin through aforestation and traditional cropping pattern. Creation of ponds and check dams are other viable and better options to flood water diversion.     http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/haryana/use-yamuna-to-recharge-groundwater-says-expert/490840.html

SAND MINING

Tamil Nadu Plea to stop mining in waterbody A PIL filed, in Madras High Court has sought directions against private parties mining sand at Kanoor tank in Sivaganga district in the guise of removing savadu (brick earth) sand. The petitioner, P. Gayathri of Sivaganga, said permission was given only to excavate ‘savadu’ sand. However, every day more than 1,000 lorries transported sand excavated from the tank and adjacent lands. Sand had been excavated to a depth of up to 25 feet, said the petitioner. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/plea-to-stop-sand-mining-by-private-parties-in-waterbody-hc-madurai/article19999049.ece

In another incident, on Nov 11, 100 people at Seethakattuputhur and Periya Vadugapatti in Karur have intercepted thirteen lorries transporting illegally-mined sand from the Cauvery river. Since the closure of the quarries across the state following the high court ban a few months ago, illegal sand mining has been taking place in the dead of the night.  https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/trichy/local-people-stop-13-lorries-with-smuggled-sand-in-karur/articleshow/61611227.cms

Punjab Locals rent out tippers to sand miners, make a quick buck The report mentions involvement of villagers in facilitating illegal sand mining in Mohali by renting out their tippers to contractors who pay him a good amount of money. During a visit, to the village in Majri block, which includes Khijrabaad, Mianpur Jhangar, Majri village, Kubbaheri and Saini Majra, Indian Express found that tippers are parked outside every fourth or fifth house. Most of the owners of these tippers are local farmers. According to the govt’s specifications, if a miner digs up 25 feet area at a mining site, it generates 1 tonne sand. http://indianexpress.com/article/india/illegal-mining-locals-rent-out-tippers-to-sand-miners-make-a-quick-buck-4934781/

GROUND WATER

Tamil Nadu Dyeing units pollute groundwater in Tirupur Tirupur farmers are bearing the brunt of ground water pollution caused by dying units. Tests done by farmers, agriculture department and pollution control board confirms pollution by dying units has turned farm lands with rich crop diversity into barren tracts. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/coimbatore/dyeing-and-bleaching-units-pollute-groundwater-in-tirupur/articleshow/61537986.cms

Karnataka Record rain failed to raise groundwater level in Bengaluru Despite over 1,200 mm received during monsoons in 2017 or, more than double of what was received in monsoons of 2016, water levels do not seem to have risen appreciably. Experts have attributed this to borewell exploitation, concreting landscape, and erratic intensity of the rains. Good report that shows how in Urban set up even in a year with good rainfall, groundwater levels would still fall since recharge does not happen while over exploitation continues.  http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/why-continuous-rain-failed-to-raise-groundwater-level-in-bengaluru/article20006721.ece

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Hyderabad Loss of open spaces sparks crisis, water table depletes  The loss of open spaces and greenery in Hyderabad has resulted in a twin problem of urban heat islands and depletion of the groundwater table. The environmental impact of loss of open spaces and vegetation can be gauged from the fact that despite Hyderabad receiving excess rainfall in the monsoon this year, the water table did not increase considerably. Average increase has been minimal, at 0.32 metres over a period of 12 months. Incidentally, Hyderabad received the highest rainfall during October in the last 100 years. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/loss-of-open-spaces-sparks-crisis-water-table-depletes/articleshow/61571002.cms

Haryana NGT asks HUDA to stop illegal drawing of water in Sushant Lok 2, 3 The NGT on Nov 09 directed HUDA, Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) and the deputy commissioner of Gurgaon to take action against illegal exploitation of groundwater in Sushant Lok 2 & 3, if any, in the next 15 days. The directive has come on a petition filed by Bala Yadav and Rajendra Goel both residents of Sushant Lok-2 that the developer, Ansal Buildwell, is extracting groundwater for commercial use. The June 2016 petition also claimed that the builder developed condominiums — Sushant Lok-2 and 3— in around 500 acres of land without obtaining environment clearance. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/gurgaon/ngt-stop-illegal-drawing-of-water-in-sushant-lok-2-3/articleshow/61585651.cms

National The quest for groundwater in post-colonial India This is story of how the exploration of aquifers under the earth’s surface in India became an agricultural endeavour rather than geological. http://www.thehindu.com/thread/science-health-environment/the-quest-for-groundwater-in-post-colonial-india/article19968118.ece

WATER

Centre Cabinet approves continuation and Restructuring of NRDWP The details of the decision are as follows:

  1. National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) is to be continued co-terminus with the 14th Finance Commission cycle till March 2020.
  2. With the restructuring of the NRDWP, there will be 2% earmarking of funds for Japanese Encephalitis (JE) /Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) affected areas.
  3. A new Sub-programme under NRDWP viz. National Water Quality Sub-Mission (NWQSM) which has been started by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation in February 2017 will address the urgent need for providing clean drinking water in about 28000 Arsenic & Fluoride affected habitations (already identified). As per estimates, about Rs. 12,500 crore as Central share will be required over 4 years i.e. up to March, 2021. This is being funded from the allocation under NRDWP.
  4. Pre-financing for the agreed schemes, to the extent of half of the second instalment amount, will be made by the State Governments, which will be reimbursed later on from the central funding. If the State(s) fails to claim this amount before 30th November in the financial year, then, these funds will become a part of the common pool, which will be released to the high performing States, which have already pre-financed the requisite Government of India share on a first come first serve basis.
  5. Other half of second instalment of funds will be released to the States based on functionality status of completed piped water supply schemes, which will be evaluated through a third party.
  6. The Cabinet has approved Rs. 23,050 crore for the programme for the FFC period 2017-18 to 2019-20.

The NWQSM aims to cover all rural population in Arsenic/Fluoride affected habitations with clean drinking water on a sustainable basis by March 2021. States have been given more flexibility in utilization of NRDWP funds by reducing the number of components under the programme.

As per the Integrated Management Information System (IMIS) of the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, about 77% of rural habitations in India have achieved a fully covered (FC) status (40 litres per capita per day) and 56% of the rural population have access to tap water through public stand posts within which 16.7% have household connections. http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=173383

Maharashtra Govt makes reuse of toilet water mandatory for cities  Making wastewater reuse a “primary responsibility” of the municipalities, the cabinet on Nov 08 directed the urban bodies in these 71 belts to draft an action plan within a year, and commission these plants within the next three years. For the economic viability of the projects, the cabinet mandated that power plants and industrial estates run by the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) in areas near the municipalities to utilise the recycled supplies for non-potable uses, once they were made available.

The state govt desires reuse of at least 6,888 MLD sewage generated across 71 urban agglomerates by 2020. As per the report of total sewage, about 4,738 MLD already undergoes secondary-level treatment of affluent and similar treatment plants are on the anvil to cater to another 2,150 mld of sewage. As per Manisha Patankar-Mhaiskar, Principal Secretary (Urban Development-II), dam water supplies for all such industrial areas and power plants located within 50 km of the municipality would be withdrawn for non-potable uses, once the treated wastewater is available.

– A 40 MLD treatment plant, being set up by the Navi Mumbai civic body, is slated to be the first such facility. As reported previously in The Indian Express, the plan is to supply the treated water to MIDC areas in Vashi, Airoli, and Koparkhairane, whose fresh water reserves would be diverted for domestic uses to families belonging to 27 villages newly taken up for urbanisation in the nearby Kalyan Dombivali municipality. Similarly, a 70-MLD treatment plant is proposed in Solapur, which would cater to cooling water requirement of a National Thermal Power Corporation’s plant. Another 40-MLD plant is being planned in Chandrapur.  http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/maharashtra-govt-makes-reuse-of-toilet-water-mandatory-for-cities-4918336/

URBAN FLOODS 2017

Chennai Flood Unplanned urbanization fueling conflicts between residents and farmers  Another dimension to the increasing water conflicts: Fearing water logging, flooding residential areas built in catchment oppose farmers effort to fill up lakes, tanks for irrigation. Non-desilting tanks and lack of maintenance of bunds by Irrigation Dept only has only aggravated the conflict further.

In Chengalpet area, farmers of several villages are worried that their irrigation tanks are not filling up despite rain in the catchment areas and in the chain of tanks that empty into them. While farmers want the water to be stored in the Maduvu, residents of Mahalakshmi Nagar, Rajaji Nagar, Anna Nagar and surrounding residential areas staged a road roko demanding that its shutters be opened to ensure quick draining of rainwater stagnated in their localities.

As per water conservationist V. Srinivasan the residents in many areas are those who have bought land at cheap rates. This situation shows the govt’s inability to understand the housing crisis. He also adds that even some of the LIG housing areas promoted by the govt are on water catchment areas, bringing poorer sections of society in conflicts with each other.

Most localities that are now flooded have been formed on channels leading into or outside tanks, or are on catchment areas of tanks where they should not be allowed to live, says V. Suresh, National General Secretary, People’s Union for Civil Liberties. “The present govt is in an unholy rush to regularise irregularly constructed houses. This nexus between land sharks, corrupt officials and politicians is harming both gullible people and farmers,” Mr. Suresh said. http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/farmers-want-more-water-but-residents-fear-inundation/article19989006.ece

As per the statement of K. Satyagopal Commissioner of Revenue Administration, the problem is that inundated areas are mostly agricultural lands. A portion of that has become a residential area. And because of that, you will get a road and have huge vacant sites. Since there is no channel over there, water will not flow easily. http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/many-flooded-areas-were-once-farmlands/article19978206.ece

Meanwhile Chennai is all set to get a comprehensive flood warning system being developed by several national agencies and institutions. The project is being implemented under the supervision of a high powered committee led by former secretary of Ministry of Earth Sciences, Shailesh Nayak. The initiative was taken by the office of the principal scientific advisor after the devastating floods the city experienced in 2015.

Dr Nayak says the work is progressing well and the system is expected to be launched by February next year. The system would keep track of heavy rain events and come out with forecasts taking into account all parameters including tide heights in the Bay of Bengal and water levels in reservoirs feeding the city as well as in Adyar and Cooum rivers that run through it.

All institutions relevant for proper functioning of the system have been involved in this exercise. These include the India Meteorological Department, the National Central for Medium Range Weather Forecast, Central Water Commission, and the National Disaster Management Authority at the national level to Tamil Nadu government’s irrigation department. In addition, academic institutions have also been roped in.

The IITs in Mumbai and Chennai are designing and developing the system. It would be managed by the Chennai-based Integrated Coastal and Marine Area Management (ICMAM) project under the Ministry of Earth Sciences. “Information about rainfall, tides, reservoir and river levels and other parameters will flow from IMD and other agencies into ICMAM. It will analyse the data and disseminate the forecasts to NDMA, the state government and other stakeholders,” Dr Nayak adds.”  http://www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/new-flood-warning-system-chennai

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Price of development: Organic farmer Pamayan addressing a meeting on ‘Rain and Madurai’ in the city on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: G_Moorthy

Meanwhile the common concerns shared by expert sepeaking ‘Rain and Madurai’ event on Nov 12, was that lack of community participation in safeguarding waterbodies had resulted in Madurai losing many tanks, besides pollution of Vaigai river. It also emerged that Vaigai river was getting polluted wherever it passed through urban areas and even its width had narrowed down over the years.

As per a speaker Madurai city had lost at least 30 % of its waterbodies in the last few decades after the community lost its ownership in their maintenance through ‘kudimaramathu’ and the “Kiruthumal river carrying clean water some 40 years back has become a sewage drain now.

Many of the waterbodies in Madurai had given way to huge govt buildings such as the Corporation office, court buildings and Tamil Sangam. 

Concrete lining of drainage channels, including their beds, had led to precious rainwater draining into river and not getting percolated into the ground. Thus the groundwater table had depleted. http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/lack-of-people-participation-leadingto-destruction-of-waterbodies-experts/article20377697.ece

AGRICULTURE

Organic Farming Bihar-Sikkim pact for organic push Bihar Govt has signed and MoU with Sikkim Govt to promote organic https://www.telegraphindia.com/states/bihar/bihar-sikkim-pact-for-organic-push-182613

ENERGY OPTIONS

Uttarakhand Development of hydroelectric cell technique: new source of renewable energy Thanks to Sushil Bahuguna of NDTV for introducing and explaining the hydroelectric cell technique in this video. This sounds interesting indeed. It will need industrial development and economics of power generation using life cycle approach. This needs to be encouraged. Please share your feedback. https://khabar.ndtv.com/video/show/news/invention-of-hydroelectric-cell-469356

EPW Promoting Solar Power as a Remunerative Crop Detailed article by IWMI researchers led by Dr Tushar Shah on how “Dhundi village the world’s first solar cooperative that produces Solar Power as a Remunerative Crop. When compared to other models promoting solar irrigation in the country, the SPaRC model, which has successfully completed one year in Dhundi, offers multiple benefits across-the-board: it will control groundwater overexploitation, reduce the subsidy burden on DISCOMs, curtail carbon footprint of agriculture, and help double farmer incomes.” http://www.epw.in/system/files/pdf/2017_52/45/CM_LII_45_111107_TushaarShah_etal.pdf

SOUTH ASIA

Study For hilsa conservation protect the livelihood of hilsa fishermen Findings of International Water Association study: Hilsa catch has been declining over the last 30 years in West Bengal and Bangladesh due to overfishing, siltation of river beds, reduced water flow and fragmentation of rivers during dry months.

-A few years ago, the Bangladesh govt took up a slew of measures, including the banning of hilsa fishing during the spawning and breeding seasons.Though the West Bengal fisheries department also subsequently amended their respective inland and marine fisheries laws to implement a ban on hilsa fishing during the spawning and breeding season, the implementation was patchy and hence produced little results.

-One of the major problems of the present day conservation management is that it doesn’t take into consideration the livelihood of traditional hilsa fisherfolk. The study recommends that the livelihood of fishermen and conservation must go hand-in-hand if it has to work. In other words, hilsa conservation needs to go beyond the immediate ecological context. http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/national/copyofbl04ndtvjhilsabl/article9944157.ece

Nepal Details of catastrophic land sliding in Pokhara David Petley here reviews a new paper that based on sediment research and carbon dating, have concluded that the huge fan shaped valley that Pokhara in NEPAL resides on could have seen at least three MAJOR earthquakes in around 1100 (1.9-3.3 km³ of sediment), 1255 AD (2.9-3.7 km³) and 1344 AD (0.3-0.5 km³), each depositing sediment quantity as mentioned in the brackets. More such research is required to understand the earthquakes and their impacts in Himalayas. https://blogs.agu.org/landslideblog/2017/11/08/catastrophic-landsliding-nepal/

China fear spurs India’s plans to store Brahmaputra water There are inaccuracies here.

– “The lean season average for Siang at the point it enters India in Arunanchal’s Tuting is 18.2 BCM of water. Then at the next measuring point in Pasighat, it is 22.3 BCM,” an official said.

– However, important point is: Shashi Shekhar, former secretary at the water ministry, called for caution considering the region’s sensitive ecology. “Holding so much water in a highly tectonic zone can be risky. Much study is required before a final call can be taken. The government should not rush into the projects based on threat perceptions from China,” he said.

– The report mentions “several Experts who thought India should counterbalance any China’s plans”, but mentions only one that too only a former diplomat, not an expert on either legal or power or water dam issue. http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/china-fear-spurs-india-s-plans-to-store-brahmaputra-water/story-aK0wRDnqnw7tHOygSLOgLO.html

SOUTH EAST ASIA

Power surplus China does not need massive hydro projects in Myanmar There are several very important developments here. Big hydropower dams are not a priority in Myanmar’s strategy to tackle chronic power shortages, the country’s new energy minister said in an interview.

– “Up to 2025, we don’t put (large dams) in our plan. … I don’t need to have issues with environmental or political problems. I need just to have power.”

– $ 3.6 BILLION Myitsone Dam project in Myanmar, backed by China and most of the power from which was to flow to China, has been PUT ON HOLD.

– “Sometimes things change. Now China is overflowing with energy they don’t need power right now,” said Win Khaing. “Actually they have a surplus of power right now, especially from hydropower. What was very, very important 10 years ago has different perspectives right now.”

– The proposed dam, on the upper reaches of the Ayeyarwady river in Kachin state, would have sent most of its power across the border to China’s Yunnan province, which now has an oversupply of electricity as it switches to less energy-intensive industries amid an economic slowdown.

– In his first interview with international media since the reshuffle, Win Khaing told Reuters on Monday he favoured imports of liquefied natural gas and small-scale hydropower projects as part of the solution to keeping the lights on. https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/power/big-hydro-power-dams-can-wait-myanmar-overhauls-energy-strategy/61550412

As per another news report on Nov 08, China has said that it will continue to talk to Myanmar about a controversial stalled dam project, after Myanmar’s new energy minister cast doubt over the scheme. Valued at $3.6 billion, the Myitsone dam project in the north of the former Burma has been a sticking point between the two countries since the previous military-backed government suspended work in 2011. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-myanmar-energy/china-says-will-keep-talking-to-myanmar-over-stalled-dam-scheme-idUSKBN1D80X4?il=0

THE REST OF WORLD

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A car is submerged on a freeway flooded by Tropical Storm Harvey on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017, near downtown Houston, Texas.AP./CHARLIE RIEDEL

America Hundreds of Dams in Texas Could Fail in Worst-Case Flood TEXAS has 7229 dams, largest among all US states (like Maharashtra of India). Many of these dams are at risk, including 6 in Austin city itself, when heavy rains come.

– In a departure from national norms, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which regulates and inspects dams, applies stricter safety standards to those whose failure would be expected to cost seven or more lives than it does to dams whose collapse could possibly cost up to six lives. The latter can get by in some cases by being capable of handling just half of a worst-case flood.

– There have been dozens of failures since then (1989), including four East Texas dams that washed out as a result of Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath — three in Tyler County and one in Newton County. Sixteen other dams sustained damage from Harvey, including five in Fayette County, southeast of Austin.

– Dam safety specialists are troubled by the Legislature’s exemption of what are now 3,232 dams, or 45 percent, from safety requirements, as well as the environmental commission’s weaker standards for dams with a lower potential death toll.

– In the vast majority of states, any dam that would be a threat to life if it failed is considered a “high-hazard potential” dam. But not in Texas, where dams that could kill up to six people if they collapse receive the midlevel rating of “significant-hazard potential.” No loss of life is expected if a low-hazard dam fails.

– To qualify for the exemption, a dam must be outside a city in a county with a population under 350,000 and impound less than 500 acre-feet of water, or 163 million gallons.

– Proponents of the (exemption) measure, including representatives of ranching and farming groups, told lawmakers that dam owners were having to spend upwards of $100,000 in studies and improvements per dam.

– The commission declined to disclose the hazard classifications of individual dams, citing a 2005 opinion by the state attorney general’s office that declared such classifications and emergency plans — which include maps of potential inundation zones — confidential because they identify “particular vulnerabilities of critical infrastructure to an act of terrorism.”

– The Upper Brushy district has been able to fix its dams and prepare an emergency plan covering all 23 because voters in 2002 authorized a tax of 2 cents per $100 of property value, which now generates about $7 million a year. http://www.govtech.com/em/disaster/Hundreds-of-Dams-in-Texas-Could-Fail-in-Worst-Case-Flood.html

On the contrary the USA House has approved bill for using exiting dams for hydropower. As per the report only 3 percent of the nation’s 80,000 dams now produce electricity. Electrifying some of the larger sites – primarily locks and dams on the Ohio, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas Rivers that are operated by the Army Corps of Engineers – would generate electricity for millions of homes and create thousands of jobs, an Energy Department report said.

– The bill would make the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission the lead agency on hydropower licensing and require states, tribes and other federal agencies to defer to the commission.

– Opponents said the bill turns over public waterways to industry at the expense of fishermen, boaters and Native American tribes.

– “This bill is an industry wish list and it’s facing major opposition by states, tribes, conservation and recreation groups,” said Amy Kober, a spokeswoman for American Rivers, an environmental group. The legislation weakens protections for clean water and wildlife and strips states and tribes of their authority to ensure crucial environmental safeguards, Kober said.

– Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., said a major cause for licensing delays was due to incomplete applications submitted by power companies rather than bureaucratic bungling, as Republicans charge.”We cannot allow hydropower facilities to claim a monopoly over our public waterways without mitigating the negative impacts of these facilities … and without complying with modern environmental laws,” Rush said.

– The Bill will now go to senate. https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/renewable/house-approves-bill-to-expand-hydropower/61570954

Meanwhile the success of solar and wind energy in California is having a surprising side effect: It may be undercutting revenue for hydroelectric dams, the longtime stalwart of “green” energy in the West.

– “These utilities are going to have to look hard at how much they want to spend maintaining a hydroelectric project they know is really not economically viable.”

– As a result, there were long periods this year in which market pricing for electricity in California actually turned negative. That means producers had to pay the market to take their energy.

– The situation is good for energy consumers, who benefit from lower prices. It’s also good for the planet, because it means solar and wind energy have at last become major contributors to the grid.

– The hydro industry may eventually find that some generating units no longer pencil out. And the effects aren’t limited to California: The duck curve influences utilities all over the West

– In a PowerPoint presentation, he illustrated how electricity pricing has declined by a dramatic 55 percent over the past six years in the mid-Columbia energy market in central Washington, a region dominated by hydropower.

– The first victim of this trend in the hydroelectric sector may be the Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) Company’s DeSabla-Centerville facility, a small hydroelectric system on Butte Creek in California. https://www.newsdeeply.com/water/articles/2017/11/06/why-hydroelectric-utilities-are-endangered-by-soaring-solar-and-wind

Similarly construction of new hydro projects dams are threatening Pantanal the world’s  largest tropical wetland covering an area slightly larger than England lies mostly on a huge floodplain at the foot of Brazil’s southwestern highlands, but a fraction also spills over into Bolivia and Paraguay.

It may not be as globally famous as the Amazon rainforest, but it has the continent’s highest concentration of wildlife. The region is home to more than 1,000 bird species and 300 mammals including the jaguar, capybara, giant otter and tapir.

Now, however, the region’s endangered plants and animals, along with its still undiscovered secrets, may be wiped out in return for cheap hydroelectricity. There are already 38 operational hydroelectric plants in the Paraguay river’s upper basin, the region that drains into the Pantanal. A further 94 are due to be built in coming years. https://theconversation.com/hydroelectric-dams-threaten-brazils-mysterious-pantanal-one-of-the-worlds-great-wetlands-86588

DRP 1

A green sea turtle swims near plastic pollution in the Philippines. Photograph: Steve De Neef/Getty Images/National Geographic

Research 10 rivers taking 90% plastic to the oceans New research reveals that just 10 river systems transport more than 90% of plastic waste to the world’s oceans. If we continue at this rate, some estimate that our oceans will contain more plastic than fish by 2050. Two are in Africa (the Nile and the Niger) while the other eight are in Asia (the Ganges, Indus, Yellow, Yangtze, Haihe, Pearl, Mekong and Amur). The research published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology have shown that large river systems act as super-highways in transporting plastic to the sea. Next the researchers want to investigate the speed at which plastic travels from land to sea. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/nov/05/terrawatch-the-rivers-taking-plastic-to-the-oceans

CLIMATE CHANGE

Maharashtra Govt to set up village climate resilient committees In an important decision the State Govt has decided to set up committees to focus on climate resilience in over 5,000 villages of 15 districts in the state. As per a Government Resolution (GR) issued yesterday, under the Nanaji Deshmukh Krushi Sanjivanee Project, Village Climate Resilient Agriculture Management Committees (VCRMCs) would be set up at a cost of Rs 4,000 crore.”

– It also said that 4,210 villages in the state are most vulnerable to climate change hence, they have been selected for the project. Besides, 932 villages facing the challenge of salinity of water are also included in the project that is likely to be funded based on World Bank loan.

– The selected villages are mostly from Marathwada and Vidarbha regions and Nashik revenue division. A 13-member committee will be set up in all these villages to stress on adopting new agricultural practices, judicious use of water and soil testing to keep a check on its health, as per the GR http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/maha-govt-to-set-up-village-climate-resilient-committees-117110800572_1.html

river delta.jpg

On top, Land-change map of the Mississippi River delta. Red, orange, violet and blue colors represent areas that have lost land from 1932-2010, whereas green and brown colors represent areas that have gained land. Bottom left, United States Geological Survey satellite image of Wax Lake delta in 1984. Bottom right, United States Geological Survey satellite image of Wax Lake delta in 2014.(Nature Geoscience)

Research Rebuilding wetlands could help fight climate change According to a recent study published in Nature Geoscience, in addition to buffering Louisiana’s coast from storms, land built by river deltas acts as a carbon sink by trapping carbon dioxide in soil. Deltas are able to trap carbon from the atmosphere in two ways, said Alex Kolker, a researcher with the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium and an author of the study.

Plants that grow in the delta pull carbon from the atmosphere and store it in their roots. In addition, sediment from up river carries carbon into the delta, which is buried as land is built. “You get a twofer in that while you are building land you are pulling carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and storing it in a relatively safe environment,” Kolker said.

Kolker and researchers from the University of Texas and University of Florida analyzed core samples from the Wax Lake Delta near Morgan City to better understand the greenhouse gas trapping potential of river deltas. The Wax Lake Delta is an outgrowth of a diversion channel first dredged in 1941 to reduce flooding in Morgan City.

Researchers found that more than 8,000 metric tons of CO2 have been buried in the land mass since sediment began settling in the delta in the early 1950s. That’s the equivalent of trapping the carbon emissions from 6,000 passenger cars, Kolker said. http://www.nola.com/environment/index.ssf/2017/11/rebuilding_wetlands_could_crea.html

Study Climate change may worsen Jordan water crisis ‘worse’ A recent study by Stanford University finds that in the absence of international climate policy action Jordan could receive 30 percent less rainfall by 2100 and annual temperatures could increase by 4.5 Celsius. The study also says that as a result of this number and duration of droughts would increase two fold compared with the 1981-2010 periods. Jordan is already facing water crisis and the study has further escalated the concerns. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/11/climate-change-jordan-water-crisis-worse-171107093731580.html

ENVIRONMENT

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Karnataka Important decision of Karnataka HC regarding Bangalore SWM In a historic decision by Karnataka High Court, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has been directed to ensure that Ward Committees constituted on Oct 31, 2017 in all the 198 wards of the city should meet by end of Nov in accordance with Section 13-H of the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976. The Court further directed that during this first meeting each and every Ward Committee shall prepare a ward level plan to “ensure proper solid waste management and sanitation work in the ward and finalise location of new public sanitation units” as per Sec 13 (I) (i) of the Act. These plans will be consolidated into an Action Taken Report (ATR) by BBMP and placed on its website, and a report of progress will be produced in Court prior to the next date of hearing i.e. 8th December 2017. http://www.esgindia.org/education/community-outreach/press/historic-direction-karnataka-high-court-.html

Signifying the implication of growing waste a report early in the year has mentioned that the stench of rubbish hanging over swathes of Bangalore is so powerful it rouses residents in the middle of the night, the fetid result of a trash crisis that threatens its reputation as one of India’s nicest places to live. http://www.livemint.com/Politics/W9fqwnrCebh5WssoQNgWpK/How-Garden-City-Bengaluru-has-degenerated-into-a-garbage-c.html

Uttarakhand 4 years after 2013 floods, Assi Ganga villages still await relief Shocking but true revelations: While State & Centre Govt are mainly focusing on the development of Pilgrim centres, native people have been facing continue to live in miserable conditions in absence of restoration of damaged roads, bridges, schools and medical centres:  The villagers of Assi Ganga valley, one of the areas in Uttarkashi district which was badly affected by the 2013 Kedarnath disaster, are waiting for reconstruction and relief work for the past four years. Local residents alleged that most of the major roads, bridges, schools and medical centres of the region have not been totally restored and continue to be in bad shape. The valley, which is situated barely 5 km away from the district headquarters, was devastated by the floods in 2012 as well. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/four-years-after-2013-floods-assi-ganga-villages-still-await-relief/articleshow/61618608.cms

MoEF Under pressure from CAG, MoEF to streamline clearance process Stung by the criticism of the comptroller and auditor general (CAG) of India which exposed shortcomings in the govt’s environment clearance process, the union environment ministry has now decided to streamline the anomalies. In March, a CAG report said that India’s environment ministry and its offices have failed at every step in ensuring the environment is protected, and conditions on which projects are cleared are not monitored at all. It criticized delays at every step in projects getting environment clearances (ECs) and highlighted that the ministry had not penalized even a single project for violation of EC conditions. The auditor analyzed projects given ECs during January 2011-July 2015. http://www.livemint.com/Politics/WGCG8g1XjHKqkjZb3xLvNN/Under-pressure-from-CAG-environment-ministry-to-streamline.html

Maharashtra Case against Taloja MIDC CETP for polluting creek The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has filed a case against officials from the Taloja MIDC’s common effluent treatment plant (CETP) for polluting Taloja creek by discharging effluents. A case has been lodged against the CETP board and manager under Sections 277, 278 and 432 of the IPC and various sections of the Water Act 1974 on Nov 09. Good step but MPCB acted very late, the CETP was dysfunctional since March 2017, also shows failure of MIDC also as it could not repair it so far and also lacked the stand by equipment. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/thane/case-against-taloja-midc-cetp-for-polluting-creek/articleshow/61609818.cms

You may also like to see DRP News Bulletin 06 November 2017 &   DRP News Bulletin 30 October 2017 

One Comment on “DRP News Bulletin 13 November 2017 (EAC Defers To Clear Pancheshwar Dam But Ignores People’s Voices)

  1. Dear Friends,

    “Kaleshwaram project, jointly implemented by Maharashtra and Telangana, aims to divert water from the Godavari river basin to Telangana.” Part of Telangana is in Godavari Basin and the remaining part is in Krishna basin. It is not clear whether Kaleswaram project has inter-basin transfer component.

    Udayashankar

    .

    ________________________________

    Like

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